Female Cosmetic Surgeon based in the East Midlands
  • Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • Body Contouring
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Other Treatments
Breast Reconstruction

Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Reconstruction

This procedure involves taking tissue from your back (including the latissimus dorsi muscle) and moving it to the chest where it is remodeled into your new breast. The technique can be used in combination with an implant or on its own. When a woman has had breast-conserving surgery and there is only a small defect in the breast to fill then a small part of the lat dorsi muscle can be used leaving the rest of the muscle in place.

Postoperative period

After the procedure, the patient awakes with dressings over the back and breast and tummy and will have surgical drains in both places. Dressings will be changed once or twice before you leave hospital and again a few days after arriving home. (A physiotherapists will advise on exercises to avoid shoulder stiffness.)

Your stay will be between five and seven days.

A sports bra (no wires) should be worn for at least four weeks.

Time off and recovery

You will have to take it easy for a month, gradually increasing activity as you heal. Driving should be avoided for at least four weeks. Depending on the patient and the procedure, full recovery can be anywhere between six weeks and three months.

What you need to be aware of

There are pros and cons for latissimus dorsi muscle reconstruction:


  • The shape and “hang” of the breast produced with this technique are very good.
  • If no implant is used then the new breast will change weight, and therefore size and shape, as your weight changes, resulting in continued symmetry.
  • If no implant is used it will move and feel like your other breast.


  • It is a long procedure (5 hours) compared to implant only.
  • The hospital stay is 5-7 days. Recovery 6 weeks to 3 months.
  • There is an extra scar on the back
  • The muscle may shrink with time, changing the shape of the reconstruction.

As with any surgical procedure, there can occasionally be complications; possibly including scars, bleeding, infection, breast asymmetry, wound breakdown, seroma, shoulder stiffness, leg or lung clots, capsular formation and capsular contraction (if you have implants). The chances of any complication can be reduced by observing the postoperative recommendations above. Smoking is also a risk factor. This subject is always fully discussed during your initial consultation.

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